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Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Online Guide to Partial Transparency

My last column prompted a number of emails and questions about the process of donations and transparency.  Putting aside the issues and concerns which are soon to be discussed and debated within the CTGOP, I thought it made good sense as a public service to direct voters to three online websites that are meant to provide disclosure on expenditures, and donations on each federal campaign.

The first is the website . This website starts with split-screen navigation where you can either look at donations/expenditures on the Presidential Campaigns by State and District, or House and Senate Races by State and District.  You can look at any candidate's expenditures and see how money is being categorized via expense (and sometimes by employee if the amount is significant enough).  The site includes historical data from previous elections. Linda McMahon's campaign is an interesting one to peruse  because you can really get a sense for how one can easily blow through $50 million dollars if they're not careful

The second webpage is which allows you to view donor information by zip code, state, candidate, etc.  The Outside Spending Section is one of the most interesting parts of this site.

The third webpage is .  This website focuses on money and influence on state politics.  It's mission statement reads: The National Institute on Money in State Politics is the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states

None of these sites will tell you where the hidden payoffs and favors go, but they are interesting sites, nonetheless.   For example, using -  and looking at any candidate's Operating Expenditures you can easily see how large sums of money are categorized in a general manner (z.B. Political Strategy Consulting) under purpose and are being paid to consulting firms in a lump sum; note that these expenditures are not required to be broken down further (i.e. the money trail ends).  Why the reporting accountability stops there is probably not a mystery given who writes these laws.

Happy Hunting!



This original blog entry can be viewed at

1 comment:

The King said...

I was asked to include this website as part of this piece:

The site is a product of the Connecticut State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC). The website is the e-Campaign Reporting Information System (eCRIS) and its purpose reads:

This page allows the public to search, browse and download information from campaign finance reports filed by committees with the SEEC’s Disclosure and Audit Unit. The term committees for purposes of this summary includes: Candidate committees, Exploratory committees, Party committees and Political Action committees (also known as PACs). We shall refer to all four distinct committee types as political committees in order to accent the political nature of their purpose in relationship to the financing of election campaigns for elective public office in Connecticut.
The eCRIS Search was developed by the SEEC as a result of its recognition that the public has the right to know the organizational structure and financing of election campaign activities. For this purpose, the Connecticut General Assembly created, as early as 1974, a bi-partisan and independent State Elections Enforcement Commission to ensure the integrity of the state's electoral process. The Commission is not a mere repository of documents. The Commission strives to offer fast and easy public access to the filings by committees.

Thank you to the reader who sent this along! Great stuff!